Rumor has it that industrial design-rock star Yves Behar is working on a design-worthy smoke alarm. In the meantime, we embarked on a search for attractive alternatives to the ubiquitous smoke alarm.
Above: Kupu Photoelectric Smoke Alarm by Finnish designer Harri Koskinen for Jalo Helsinki has a soft fabric cover and is affixed to the wall or ceiling surface with 3M tape (no need for screws or a power drill). There are no tiny push buttons, rather the whole external casing acts as a press switch for silencing false alarms and testing the performance of the product. Battery powered (no hardwiring, which means it can be used in countries with different electric voltage); €24.90 at the Finnish Design Shop.
Above: Winner of the 2011 Red Dot Design Award, the Kupu Photoelectric Smoke Alarm is available in white, green, gray and pink.
Above: Slated to come on the market in 2013, the Modern Smoke Detector by Architectural Devices is designed to lay recessed and nearly flush-mounted into the gypsum board of a wall or ceiling to blend in seamlessly. It runs on a 9-volt battery and can be linked to up to 12 other detectors. It will be retail for around $199. Contact Architectural Devices for further information.
Above: The Kidde Silhouette Low-Profile Smoke Alarm protrudes a mere half inch from the ceiling once installed. It contains a rechargeable battery that runs off central electricity and lasts the lifetime of the unit. Hardwiring required; $13.95 at Amazon.
Above: The Gira Smoke Alarm is an advanced heat and smoke detector that won the 2010 Red Dot award for product design; £40.01 for the battery operated unit through Gira UK. Not yet available in the US.
Above: Designed for a child's room (and inspired by the American Black-capped Chickadee bird), the battery-operated Chick-A-Dee Smoke Alarm by Dutch designer Louise van der Veld is $75 in black or white at the A+R Store in Los Angeles.